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Japan Becomes Tenth Member of IMO’s Hong Kong Convention

Japan has joined The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

On March 27, Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters, London, to deposit the instrument of accession.

With this move, the country became the tenth member of the convention, which covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships, and preparation for environmentally sound ship recycling, without compromising their safety and operational efficiency.

Under the treaty, ships are required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship. Ship recycling yards are required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, specific to each individual ship to be recycled, specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is also hosting an international seminar on “Ship Recycling – Towards the Early Entry into Force of the Hong Kong Convention” in collaboration with IMO to help increase international awareness of the importance of the early entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention.

Following Japan’s accession contracting states to the Hong Kong Convention include Belgium, Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Serbia and Turkey. They represent around 23.16% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping.

The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force 24 months after ratification by at least 15 states, representing 40 percent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, and a combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3 percent of their combined tonnage.